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tv   CNN Saturday Morning  CNN  December 15, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PST

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once again lieutenant vance, with the state police here in connecticut. he's been the one who's been updating us on everything that's happening. we'll be listening to what he has to say, hopefully getting more details about the shooter. hopefully getting some more details about the next steps in their investigation, lots of questions of why this morning. right now we're on the scene provely a half mile behind me, you get to the elementary school are where this happen. not only was the school an active crime scene as we're told, but the temporary morgue has been delivered here up from new york city to help out in the processing of the more than two dozen bodies that are the aftermath of this crime. we also know that there are investigations happening nearby because of the mother of the shooter was killed as well. and we also know that there's investigations into the weaponry that was used. we know three weapons were used,
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two pistols and one semiautomatic rifle. so we continue to follow this story here. and we -- we will update you on the latest. we know more, too, about some of the victims. nick valencia has been covering that part of the story for us. police have a new statement about this crime. he is at the center of our news-gathering operations in atlanta. nick, can you give me the latest on that? >> reporter: yeah, good morning. as you mentioned, we're still waiting and standing by for what was scheduled to be an 8:00 a.m. press conference by local police. meanwhile, they've issued this press release. state police has put out a statement further confirming, in fact, the timeline that we've been reporting all morning. they say the first call from sandy hook elementary school came in at about 9:30 this morning. newton police department immediately requested the assistance of state police. in fact, they knew right away the tragedy and scope and magnitude of the tragedy that they had on their hands. upon arrival, troopers and
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officers, the statement says, immediately entered the school where they found several students and staff, soledad, suffering from gunshot wounds at the front of the building. 18 children, 18 children were pronounced dead at the scene. two were transported to neighboring danbury hospital where they were pronounced dead there. and as we've been reporting this morning, six adults were also killed, 26 souls in all perished yesterday at sandy hook elementary school. another detail that we're learning from this is that each family, soledad, each victim's family has been assigned a trooper or officer. the statement reads, to establish and maintain an open line of communication. the press release goes on to state that the families have requested that we not contact them. they're requesting that we not call them, no press interviews from the family which probably explains a little about the difficulty that we've had all morning trying to get in touch with some of those family members. but they also say in this press
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release, a second crime scene we know now, that's where the shooter's mother was killed at a second crime scene there in sandy hook, connecticut. again just in, this press release from state police further confirming the timeline of what we know so far about what happened early friday. soledad? >> reporter: the bodies have been moved to the morgue. it was one of the more disturbing details that we got yesterday in the press conference when we were talking to lieutenant vance, the one who's been giving us the bulk of the information. he was telling us because it was an active crime scene that all the bodies would remain where they had fallen. so that is a big step forward i guess in this investigation to at least have those bodies moved to the morgue and have the next of kin notified and have i guess confirmation for people who were still wondering the very worst about their loved ones. nick valencia with an update for us this morning.
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thank you, we appreciate it. we also know that in that latest release, they confirmed what we're certain to know. of course we're waiting for the press conference. they said that they would be doing the press conference sometime after 10:00 eastern time. so obviously as the minutes tick by, they're now waiting to see when they'll do that. lots of questions remain. we're hoping they can answer some questions in the upcoming press conference. why would the shooter come to an elementary school? it makes no sense, it really does boggle the mind. it's hard to imagine why anyone would target some small children. it is hard to understand what the parents were going through as they got a robo call telling them to come to the school. the school had been locked down. telling them that there had been a shooting. cannot put your mind around what parents were thinking as they pulled up to the school. they would see ambulances streaming in, as well. and they knew that it was here and that it was very, very bad. and can't even think about what
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it would mean to tell your children that their principal has been shot and killed, and the school psychologist has been shot and killed. want to play a little bit of that. >> when i saw those teachers, when i found the two children and -- we're devastated and heartbroken for the poor families who did not have that moment in the fire house of finding their children. can't even imagine. and our prayers -- the entire community's heartbroken. when i saw the teachers and locked eyes with each of them separately, i found the two children, if i could go back, i would -- i would embrace them because i had no idea what they had gone through. but it was -- it was actually handled very well because i can't imagine the pandemonium that would have been gone on in the fire house from the parents searching for their children. if anybody there had any idea of the level of what had happened yesterday. people just simply didn't know
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really what was going on. they just knew that their children had been in a dangerous place, and that they -- that those that made it to the fire house were, thank god, safe. >> reporter: what will you tell your son who's a first grader? what will you tell your daughter who's a third grader? do they have any idea of the scope of how bad it is? >> you know, i think they do more than they're letting on. we haven't said much, it's -- this is shocking. so we're -- this is new to us. and we're definitely going to talk to counselors today over at the reed school. we're going to live at our church at st. rose and learn what to say before we say it. it's really tricky. and for my third grader, little bits and pieces are coming out now. >> reporter: sounds like she's not talking as much about it. >> no. little things are coming out now where she -- she heard a lot. they all heard and saw things that our children should not
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hear or see. they know that it was a bad man. and we said we're just coming to talk to people. they want to know what happened at sandy hook. they don't know -- they don't know that they've lost their friends, their principal. >> it's become apparent that our 6-year-old has lost close frien friends. he's very unaware of that now. we don't know exactly how to approach it with him at this point. we're guarding him from the tv. when they fell asleep last night and the experts would come on the tv to discuss how to talk to your children, we were attentive, let's listen or watch this. and we realized watching it, it had nothing to do with us, had everything to do with the rest of the country watching it, but
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not the people involved, the children in the school. it's important for us to, we realize as this goes on, that we need to take advantage of the counseling. >> reporter: yeah, many people -- so many people have sent messages to me to tell people like you and the people who have lost their children. just how sorry they feel for them. >> yeah. i mean, your heart -- this is a feeling, it is unspeakable. it is like reaching into your insides and pulling them out. i mean, when things happen to your children and to other people's children -- i can't look at my children's faces now without seeing the faces of every one of their schoolmates and all of their friends and everything that they're doing right now or saying or talking about christmas. i'm thinking, your friends should all be here. and it's just -- it is such -- it is so heavy, so heavy on your heart. >> reporter: the nation feels that way, too. >> yeah. the outpouring of love has been tremendous. i mean, people are calling from
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all over the world. we're going to need that now. we're going to absolutely need that to be there as a community. we love sandy hook. this is such a great place. and the people are wonderful. and we're just going to have to really embrace each other and open our hearts and open our arms and open the church doors and get everybody praying and togeth together. i think this is something we will get through. i don't think this is something we will ever, ever get over. >> i would like -- i would like also to say that we always felt blessed that our children were at sandy hook school. it was an absolutely beautiful school, fantastic educators. the principal who, god bless her, lofhe her, lost her life was just a very special person. and all the parents knew that. so it's a very -- it's shocking
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beyond belief that this has happened. and we're just grief stricken. heartbroken for those families. >> reporter: we're going to continue to talk through to see parents like the phelpses throughout the day. they are obviously struggling with how to deal with this issue and the kind of help and assistance that they need, at the same time being very grateful for the outpouring of support that they have felt here in newtown from all the people around the country and around the world who have been making their condolences well known. and of course we're also going to keep talking about the issue of gun control in the country, for the second day in a role. we' -- in a row. we're hearing president obama call for meaningful action. it's unclear what exactly that would mean. white house correspondent brianna keilar is at the white house for us. lay out there for me, you have pointed out that the president himself has not done much on the issue of gun control. so what are the expectations of
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what meaningful action could specifically mean? >> reporter: well, gun control advocates, soledad, think that it should mean further gun legislation. they want to see action taken. the thing, though, is it's unclear exactly what president obama means by what he said yesterday in the briefing room, and he reiterated today in his weekly address. he wants to see meaningful action. if you go by his past, in 2008 while he was campaigning, he said he wanted to see a renewal of the semiautomatic weapon ban. the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. and there were a lot of tries in congress to renew that to no avail. he promised that. obviously something he didn't deliver on during his first term. the brady campaign a couple of years ago giving him an "f" when it comes to gun control. i was with him in july in new orleans where he spoke to the national urban league a few days after the shooting in aurora, colorado. he talked about how to deal with
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guns. he talked about having a conversation. and so when you read between the lines there, it didn't seem like there was a whole lot going on there concrete. that, of course, was an election year, not a whole lot of appetite to do something in an election year. frankly, when it comes to congress, there often is not an appetite to do something on gun control. and it's not just about republicans who traditionally are in favor of gun rights, there are democrats opposed to gun rights opposed to gun control, legislation that may tighten restrictions. that's even the case you might see in the senate when you're talking about the senate majority leader, a democrat, harry reid, who comes from nevada. we don't actually know at this point exactly what meaningful action is going to mean. this is something that we'll be asking questions about, getting answers to in the coming days. certainly gun-control advocates want to see more legislation. >> reporter: a resounding no comment essentially from the nra which is a very, very possible
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lobbyist, probably another powerful lobby located in newtown, connecticut, the national sport shooting association, as well. both coming forward today with -- with no comment basically. brianna keilar for us, thank you very much. some action to my left here which is giving me a sense that maybe this press conference is a little bit closer to getting started. i'm seeing folks start to run across this parking lot where we are all kind of set up. and it looks to me like they're kneeling down which is making me think that maybe we're going to hear in a moment from lieutenant vance. he is with the state police, and he's been the guy who's been doing the bulk of the updating on the specifics of the aftermath of this terrible shooting. now one of the things that we know already from a press release that they sent out sort of in lieu of this 8:00 press conference that never happened, they said that the bodies were now out of the school, thank god. had been moved to a morgue. we know that new york city had set up a mobile morgue unit to come and help out in this
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tragedy. the next of kin we were told in the press release had already been notified. and that a trooper would be assigned to every family that lost someone in order to navigate i guess over the next days and weeks as they grapple with the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. but there are many more questions people have. for example, the shooter, 20 years old, adam lanza. his mother was also killed at a location not far from here. but beyond that, we actually don't know very much about him. we've had some descriptions from friends and schoolmates, but it is unclear exactly what could possibly motivate him to pull off such a heinous and just horrifying crime. we want to check in with mary snow, outside the shooter's home this morning. mary, before i go to you, i want to warn you, there's a lot of action where i am. i might break away from you if
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the press conference starts. what updates can you give us this morning, mary? >> reporter: well, soledad, unlike yesterday where it was a very active scene here, it is much quieter today. we are outside the lanza home. you can't see it behind me because the road is blocked off, it's a little -- >> reporter: i'm going to interrupt you there. and let's in fact head over to this press conference. looks like lieutenant vance is beginning to speak. let's listen in. >> the progress that we've made in this investigation. with me is the chief of police in newtown, the field operations commander of the state police, and my counterpart here from newtown police department. as you know, the victims have been positively identified by the office of the chief state's medical examiner. they're still in the process of doing some of their work, and as soon as that work is completed, we will be prepared to release in writing to you a formal list
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of names, birthdates, and information. there is one -- there's a couple major factors. number one, when we release that list, and we would ask you again as we did yesterday at the request of all of the family members, they have asked for you to please respect their privacy. they're going through, as i know you understand, a very difficult and trying time. we have, in fact, the justice of the chief and the colonel reassigned and continue to assign a trooper to these folks to help to maintain that solitude. so again, i would ask you, i'm pleading with you, as you know this is extremely heartbreaking, difficult thing for these folks to endure. plooez please please abide by their request. in addition to the townspeople in the town of newtown, a crisis intervention team from yale new
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haven hospital has been established in the community. they can be reached via telephone. that telephone number is 203-270-4283. and again, they're open, and they're available to anyone in the community who may have the need to discuss, to talk, to talk about this incident in its entirety. i have the ability to take some questions. i just simply want you to understand that we still have major crime detectives and newtown detectives working at the scene in the school. that is not completed, that probably will not be completed for at least another day and a half to two days. i'm putting a time limit on it. it could take longer. as i've explained, we have done everything we need to do to literally peel back the onion layer by layer and examine every
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crack and crevice of that facility. and that does not include or exclude i should say the outside of the building. the outside of the building is also part of the crime scene. every single vehicle in that lot. so it's going to be a long, painstaking process. we actually have three teams now, three major crime teams in the community. our local partners with working with us. we'll move that and expedite that along as quickly as possible. we had a meeting this morning, and that was a delay with the superintendent of schools. she will be hopefully in the not-too-distant future up here to talk briefly about some of the issues that she has encountered. the minute the medical examiner is done, and i mean that inserial, the minute he is done he is coming here, and we will again provide all the detailed information or as much detailed information as we can relative to the work that his office did both overnight and continue to do as we speak.
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again, as far as actual specific questions, i'll take a few. but i have to tell you, there are certain things that are simply cards that we're holding close to our chest in this investigation until -- no nothing's taken out of context and we have continuity of all the information that we provide. yes, sir? >> there were report that there were other guns other than the ones found in the school. are those reports accurate? >> no. that's not accurate. the weaponry that was recovered by our investigators recovered in close proximity of the deceased. and again, we're investigating the history of each and every weapon. and we will know every single thing about those weapons, i know followup questions are legally registered, who are the owners, so on, that's being done by the investigators assigned to the task. we're, again, we're going to allow the medical examiner, wait for the medical examiner to come
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in and provide the identities of the shooter, of all the deceased in this investigation. >> have you found any writings, emails, any messages that you might view as to what is going -- >> that's a fair, good question. the answer i can give you on that is that our investigators at the crime scene, the school and secondarily at the secondary crime scene that we discussed where the female was located deceased did produce some very -- very good evidence in this investigation, that our investigators will be able to use in hopefully painting the complete picture as to how and more importantly why this occurred. >> can you characterize this type of evidence -- >> we're not going to name the evidence. we're not going to talk about the evidence. simply stated, it's part and parcel to the investigation. i don't want to take it out of the context of what's being done. >> can you tell us about shattered glass -- >> we have established the point
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of entry. i can tell you it's believed he was not voluntarily let into the school at all. that he forced his way into the school. that's as far as we can go on that. >> are there broken windows at the school? >> what? >> broken windows? >> yeah. frankly, that's something, again, if you take it out of context, it sounds suspicious. but as the rescue crews arrived, the active shooting teams entered the school, they entered the school from several different points. and it necessitated their way in to gain access to perform the rescue and to save as many students and faculty as they could. hence, law enforcement broke many windows. >> the other crime scene -- >> yeah, the secondary crime scene as i told you was a crime scene that was discovered pursuant to the investigation. once we had the tentative identification on the suspect, we began doing a great deal of work, again, peeling back the onion.
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everything we could find out about the suspect including and not limited to relatives, friends, co-workers, former students, location of residents, and all those areas had to be -- people had to be interviewed and the areas had to be examined. hence, that caused us to discover the secondary crime scene which was a private residence with the sole female deceased. >> was there provided a motive or explanation as to why -- >> to be determined. the detectives will analyze everything and put a complete picture together of the evidence that they did obtain. we're hopeful, we're hopeful that tell paint a complete picture as to how and why this entire incident, unfortunate incident occurred. >> at the crime scene, did you find a man or woman? will. >> i'm sorry? >> there was one woman who was shot and survived. how is she? >> she is doing fine. she's -- she has been treated, and she'll be instrumental in this investigation, as i'm sure you can understand.
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[ inaudible ] >> that i don't know. >> the shooter in this case appeared to break into the school -- >> forced his way into the school. that would be accurate, according to investigators. yes. >> and does it appear he used to weapons to break his way -- >> i don't want to be too specific because frankly i don't know. so i would simply -- i've been informed that it was forcibly entered and was not allowed to enter if you will. what i'd like to do is -- is i'd like to get the next portion if you will today -- i don't want to keep you here all day. i'm going to try it and do this as expeditiously as i can and get as much information to you. we'd like to get the superintendent, definitely wants to come up with town leaders to discuss certain areas of her responsibility. then we certainly want to get the medical examiner up here. again, we'll do that as quickly as we can so we can get the list of i.d.s and information to you. for any of you who are new, the lieutenant and i put together a
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written press release. we'll provide those to you at my vehicle. please don't rush my vehicle. we have -- we should have enough for everyone. and if not we'll bring more the next time we come up. it lays out the bake detaisic df everything leading up to today. all right. we will try -- i don't want to give you a time, but we'll try to be back i'll say within the hour. i'll make notification some of you that i can that we're on the way. all right? yes, sir, one question. >> the mother of the -- [ inaudible ] >> you have to understand that after the shooting we did a complete and thorough search of the area, the neighborhood, with our local partners. everything was examined. if we found anyone that was in the woods cutting wood there would be -- they would be detained pending the investigation. there were no other arrest associated with this investigation that occurred. okay? [ all talking at once ] >> i would have you address that
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with the superintendent of schools, okay? we can -- she can give you that answer. we will be back. i need to get -- if i don't get here, we'll be here quite some time. i know you have a lot of questions. i think the people that we're bringing to speak to you can answer these questions and put a lot of -- take a lot of the mystery out of what we've been dealing with for the last 24 hours. okay. we will be back. we will be back. >> reporter: welcome back. you've been listening to a press conference held by lieutenant vance with the state police. not a lot to update folks on. they had sent out a written statement as well, it was consistent. said a couple of things. he was joined by the chief of police from the town here in newton, connecticut. also a lieutenant with the police department. he said as soon as the list of deceased is, in fact, completed that he would make that public. the medical examiner would be charged with that.
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that all the family members who have lost someone have -- have been united in saying they would like everyone to respect their privacy. and to that end, he has assigned a trooper to each of the families. and he called that to help maintain the solitude. meaning that there will be a barrier to keep people from getting to those families, to give them some time and give them some distance and respect their privacy. and he re-emphasized that. he said, we're asking and i am pleading with you, talking to the large member of press that's been gathered here. asking and pleading to please respect their privacy, what they have lost is just unimaginable at this point. he said that a crisis intervention team from yale new haven hospital was on the scene. they'd be available by phone to anybody who had a question or wanted some sgiens, w sgie-- so guidance in the community. detectives are on the scene of
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the school. he said it could take a day, it could take as long as two days. they're going to peel back the onion, his quote, to try to investigate every crack and crevice and really figure out what happened and the order in which things had happened in that ten-minute window when the shootings happened. outside of the building, he said it was also part of that crime scene. there are three crime teams, he said. and he -- essentially ended by saying investigators would eventually have a very full picture of how and why this occurred. the how and why which, of course, i think are the questions that everybody's really been trying to understand. he said they want to talk to relatives and friends and co-workers and former classmates of the shooter's. that the woman who was, we know was injured and who had been at one point in the room with the school psychologist and the principal, they were having a meeting about a student that morning. she ended up being shot in the foot i believe and also the arm. but that she was going to be instrumental in piecing together what had happened in this
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investigation. and with that, he ended what was a short press conference. he said the superintendent and town leaders are going want to talk to folks. and also the medical examiner would be someone that we would be hearing from as soon as they finished the identification process. they would be able to update us on some more information. so that's where it stands right now in terms of the investigation. but i'd go back to the how and the why. i think sanjay gupta is joining me now. that is always the question for those of us who cover these things and those of us who watch it on tv and people in town, too, certainly, people who lost people. the why behind it. there has been -- is there a connectiontive thread when it comes to these mass shootings? are there things that happen in mass shootings that deal with mental stability? >> oftentimes there are. but often times i keep hearing, and i've talked to people as you have over the years, a lot of times the answer is unknowable. it's not satisfying, people want to know the answer to these questions.
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but sometimes we just never can know for sure. even after the investigation is done, the people that are closest to the person involved here, you still don't have a very satisfying answer. and i just say that because i think it's something that people may need to be prepared for. over the next couple of days, it may not come back a definitive reason. all sorts of speculation as you know to what people are saying about this. i don't know that we know any of that for sure, and we may never. >> reporter: we know that a family member told investigators that the shooter had some type of autism. i think a phrase they used. and as i've told you a bunch of times, my nephew's autistic. i know a little about autism. i had never seen any connection between autism and violent behavior. is there a connection between autism and any violent behavior? is there a connection between violent behavior and any other mental illness -- i should say of mental illness since autism is not a mental illness.
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>> right. autism is not a mental illness, it's not a personality disorder as some people have suggested. there's no evidence to suggest that there's a link between autism or anything on the autism spectrum and planned violence. there can be reactive violence, call them violent outbusts. that their can be limited -- since we spoke i looked up some more research on that. there was one study that said out of 132 people who had autism, there were three democrat that demonstrated evidence of violence. again, that was reactive violence, not planned violence as seems to have occurred here. >> reporter: so what -- what will the recovery process be for people? i mean, every parent i talked to and now in the, you know, 18 hours we've been here on the scene, they're traumatized. the parents are traumatized. some had brought their kids with them, and the children are clearly traumatized. and they don't really know what
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to do. >> you know, i think if there's any good news in this, that is looking throughout history and everything is obviously unprecedented here, but typically it is a mourning process that will last. but it is short-lived and maybe even more short-lived for the children as compared to their parents. children tend to be more resilient here. i think obviously talking about this, but also restoring some sort of normalcy to their lives. and you know, we say that all the time, but it makes a huge difference to actually go back to some sort of normal pattern. if you had soccer practice on saturday, to do that practice. piano lessons tomorrow, the same thing. >> reporter: how possibly do you reopen a school where children were hiding inside their cubbies hoping not to get shot? i know that eventually columbine was reopened, right? there was a similar horrific experience. and people did eventually go back. but i just can't wrap my mind around that. >> i don't know if it needs to be commemorated in one way and acknowledged. i think a complete transparency
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seems to be key here, not trying to hide these things. making sure that people know that in fact this did happen here, but that -- people are going to move beyond that. and also this whole notion of these couple of days being so important. you know, not putting it off, making sure that if it's going to be discussed it's discussed because a longer -- the longer symptoms sort of last in children and adults, the harder it is to treat. >> reporter: minneapolis new haven hospital has volunteered a counseling line. i was surprised and wondered is it effective to do counseling on phone, as effective as seeing someone in person? >> i think it very much can be. this is a nationally known center. i've dealt with them in the past. they happen to be close by. they deal with these types of issues all over the country. they serve as a reminder that there are many people going through this. when you're going through this, you tend to think that it's you, your own individual experience that has led you to feeling this way. everyone in the hunt, as you mentioned, you and me, both parents, so many people are going through this. >> reporter: sanjay, thank you
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very much. i appreciate your insight on that. we know lots about the scene so far. but very little about the victims. very little about the shooter. not so much about the crime scene. we're going to get more details about how this terrible tragedy unfolded, that's straight ahead after this break. stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. you wanna see if walmart has similar gifts for less? yeah. let's go. samsung galaxy s3 -- over fifty dollars less than best buy! wow! fifty bucks! yeah! that's a pair of shoes. see for yourself if you could save on the gifts you want. walmart.
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the victims have been positively identified by the office of the chief state's medical examiner. they're still in the process of doing some work. as soon as that's completed we will be prepared to release in writing to you a formal list of names, birthdays, and information. there's a couple of factors. number one, when we release the list -- and we ask you again as we did yesterday at the request of all of the family members,
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they asked for you to please respect their privacy. they're going through as i know you understand a very difficult and trying time we have assigned, assigned a trooper to folks to help to maintain that solitude. again, i would ask you, and i'm pleading with you, as you know this is extremely heartbreaking, difficult thing for these folks to endure. >> reporter: that was lieutenant vance wrapping up the press conference. making it very clear that the parents and the family members who lost loved ones absolutely are not to be bothered and to have their privacy violated. and these going to assign a trooper to each to make sure that that does not happen. one of the things that he reiterateded a couple of times was to get to the how and why
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this happened. he described it as peeling back the pieces of the onion, to really understand not only the timeline of literally how this tragedy unfolded but the why. people would like to understand the why and maybe it's not something that can be understood. we're getting more information, as well, from some of the folks who lived through this terrible tragedy, describing what happened around them as they could hear the shooting and the screaming in the hallways. there's a library clerk we spoke to who said they had been practicing for these kinds of drills we have her story. we've been hearing for 24 hours the stories of haror. the heartbreak from -- horror. the heartbreak from the children, families, law enforcement. we're also hearing about heroes. one is the school library clerk, mary ann jacob. we spoke with her moments ago. she talked about what she did to
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keep kids safe during the shooting. listen. >> everybody does what they have to do when they're confronted with a situation like that. and everybody, you know, we practiced it. and they knew what to do. and you just -- you think about protecting the kids and just doing the right thing. >> how had you practiced this. >> we have lockdown drills. i don't know how many, but there's rules. you have to have a certain number of fire drills, evacuation drills, and lockdown drills. the kids know the routine and teachers know the routine. everyone has a spot they're supposed to go to. >> can you describe the spot? >> in the library it's between some book cases against a wall where you can't be seen from any windows. we had to move out of that spot because one of our doors wasn't locked we discovered so we went to a back storage room and locked the kids in there. >> how did you get -- >> we were this close together. >> how did you get the children to be quiet? >> there was crayons and paper in the storage room in the back. we tore some up and gave them clipboards and had their color and draw. >> what did you tell them --
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>> were alone? >> there were three other adults. they were asking what was going on, we said we don't know, our job is to stay quiet. it may be a drill, it may not. >> you didn't know at that point? >> we knew because i called the office, and she told me there was a shooter. my kids, friend of theirs, have little brothers or sisters that are dead. everybody in town knows everybody. i'm just glad they were safe. we were in lockdown and they didn't know. the kids at the high school were in lockdown watching. they have family. this was probably difficult. >> can you explain it -- >> can you explain it to me? >> did you know the mother? >> no. she wasn't in play. >> what about the principal? everyone's saying what a great person she was, how much do you
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-- >> she was a personal friend and a wonderful leader. >> last night a teacher told our anderson cooper that she took the kids in her class into another room and just had them read, read together. and just to have the wherewithal to be able to do that, to have the composure to while this is happening keep the children calm and more than one parent said, soledad, that the teachers saved their children's lives. the ones who were able to take their children home. we're going to hear more about the heroism as we learn about the tragedy as the days go on. soledad? >> my goodness, victor. these teachers are true heroes. when you hear what they did to try to -- not just keep them safe but keep them quiet. they were worried if the gunman heard the children talking or anybody made noise or crying that he could target their classroom. so to be able to do that, keep them calm, distract them because they're small children and they needed to be able to almost be focused on something else, what they had done is nothing short
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of heroic. it's an amazing thing. victor blackwell reporting, thank you. appreciate it. we've got to take a break. as we come back in a moment we'll continue to update you on the latest that we know about this shooting here at a connecticut elementary school. we're back in a moment. stay with us.
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welcome back. you're watching our special coverage of the school shooting in newtown, connecticut. we learned from a conference that the shooter, adam lanza, gained entry in fact into the school by forcing his way inside. we had heard reports that there had been a new security system set up for when the new principal came in. once he got inside, he was able to kill 26 people, all the weapons that he used were purchased legally and purchased in fact by his mother. we want to bring in the former
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fbi assistant director tom fuentes. also a cnn crib ontributor. we heard in the press conference that the crime scene is still being processed. tell me about what they would be doing now. the bodies we know are moved to a morgue. what's happening? >> the scene at the inside of the school would be to trace the steps of the shooter, where did he go every step of the way from the time he gained entry, which rooms he was in, where he was when he fired the shots, where the victims were when they got shot, and try to determine every step he took while in there leading up to him taking his own life. that part is very difficult. they're trying to trace the direction of bullet and where they may have hit walls and pick up the bullet casings that would have been sprayed out of the gun as he was shooting or the two guns as he was shooting. that's a very difficult process.
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takes a lot of meticulous work on the crime scene investigators. of course you have the crime scene outside the building, any material he may have dropped. maybe he was walking around beforehand or his vehicle. then of course at his residence where you have presumably his mother killed before he departs and goes to the school and shoots everybody else. so these crime scenes take a lot of physical work to process. >> reporter: they said that they were going to try to find the how and the why. and how often, in fact, i think they figure out the how. they're able to piece together clearly, eventually, what unfolded. but how often in cases like this do we just never really know the why? and before i let you answer, i want to tell whoever's talking in my ear while you're talking, it's hard to hear. if you in the control room would fix, that i'm getting another
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feed. someone else is talking in my ear. tom, go ahead, how likely that we're going to get the why in this case? the problem is even if experts say they know why, do they really? as mr. gupta said, maybe it's unknowable. even if they get emails, even if they get conversations that he's had with other friends or family members, neighbors, somebody saying that he was going do this or why he was going to do it, you don't know that it was truthful. foun he mea you don't know if he meant it, if he was delusional. there's so many aspects that we're not ever going to know. there will be a lot of speculation by experts, but they're not going to really know positively what was on his mind when he went to commit these acts. and you know, the closest person to him to most people would be their own mother, she's not going to be available to talk to. whether he was close with his brother or father, we don't know. you know, we also don't know was
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this a close knit family growing up or were they dysfunctional and he was off on his own mentally or psychologically. and so i don't put a lot of faith into the speculation. investigators will do everything they can to profile him and see what was on his mind but they're never going to know positively. >> reporter: how would you assess the job that the law enforcement here did from listening to those 911 calls and also i think in the context of knowing that this is a community that hasn't had a homicide in a decade? i don't think it's a place where they are used to shoogsz, frankfran -- to shootings, frankly. >> fortunately i don't think many communities are used to a mass murder at their schools. the situation the first responders faced was extremely
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difficult. appears they handled it professionally and did a good job. they didn't know if they had multiple shooters. they didn't know if someone had left and was in the woods or had run into a neighboring house and was holding a family hostage. they didn't know where all the children were. we had reports that some children were running through the field and through people's back yards in the immediate aftermath. so for police to arrive and quickly assess what it occurred and what to do about it, it appears that they did a very professional job. now in the aftermath of it, you have the police trying to control the information. and this is a very difficult task. and i think an underrated task for police executives. if the police give out too much information too soon, it could be inaccurate, it could obstruct their own investigation. frankly, if they give too little information, enterprising reporters not from cnn of course, but some enterprising reporters will fill the vacuum with inaccurate data, and that will also cloud the investigation. so it's a very difficult thing
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to actually conduct the investigation, and it's also a difficult thing to describe and report on the investigation to the public. >> it was interesting to hear lieutenant vance talk about assigning troopers to each family that basically wanted to ensure their privacy because, of course, there is -- i'm going to guess like 100 live cameras all wired here in the parking lot from the sort of the half mile from the school where we are. he's going to protect them from the national and international media. is that unusual? it seemed to be a smart thing. >> very smart thing. lieutenant vance has done an exceptional job in the way that he's conducted press conferences from the beginning until and including this morning. the difficulty here and the police are well aware of what's
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going to happen, as soon as the names of those victims are actually released and become public those families are going to be inundated no matter how much he and others plead for the privacy and solitude of the victims' families. frankly, it's not going to completely happen. there are going to be people, even well wishers contacting them that are thinking they're being helpful. unfortunately, there will be people trying to exploit them and take advantage of the situation and of the poor victims. there's a number of issues. the police know what's going happen in terms of the privacy of those family as soon as the names go out. they know the families are in for a lot of trouble in the days ahead. >> reporter: yeah. i hope those troopers know they'll be working hard to keep the privacy for the family members. tom, thank you. formerly with the fbi. we appreciate your time and insight this morning. we heard from the president earlier calling for meaningful
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action in the wake of this tragedy. there's also this from the new york mayor, michael bloomberg, "calling for "meaningful action" is not nufd. we need immediate action. we have heard all the rhetoric before, what we've not seen is leadership, not from the white house and not from congress. that must end today." joining us is cnn contributor maria car don't aamy holmes of the the yeas are a, you've got kids i imagine -- maria, you've got kids i imagine. and amy, you have reported -- i have to imagine you're horrified. >> i know there was not a dry eye yesterday, especially from parents. i saw you this morning choking up. and every second i feel like i'm about to choke up. yes, this is a national tragedy. i agree frankly with mayor bloomberg. our leaders need to step up including president obama. i hope that his call for meaningful action will mean
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immediate action. there are two things that we can do immediately, that is renew the ban on assault weapons. there's no reason why the shooter had that semiautomatic rifle in his possession. there also should be a way to get rid of the loophole, the gun show loophole where 40% of guns are sold without background checks. there is no sane, rational reason in the world why that should be happening in this country today. >> right. but the reality is that assault rifles, semiautomatic assault rifle, the bushmaster 223, that was in the car. he pulled off this attack using guns but not assault weapons banned in this particular case. probably wouldn't have had an impact. amy holmes, i know it's not just republicans. there are plenty of democrats, too, who get antsy when people start talking about gun control. and putting limits on the ability to own guns. so what does meanful action in
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your mind mean? >> well, i think as lieutenant vance said, we need to peel back the onion and understand how he did get potissession of the gun. as we understand, they were registered to her mother. why they were available is hard to know. i think one thing we can do in terms of meaningful action is not to glorify these villains and these killers and not to use their names, not to reference them directly. one of the things that we've been learning with these mass shooters they they do sort of revel in their note right and they do seek notoriety. so i would ask all of us never to use the name of the shooter ever. >> we've been trying to do that. at the same time -- >> it's a difficult thing, and of course we have a constitution and a first amendment. but we also have judgment and discernment. we know, for example, that we don't show the bodies of victims. i think that we can treated this with a bit more sensitivity to
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some of the dynamics that go in to creating these mass shooters who apparently want all of the nation and all of the world's attention on them. >> i'm going to stop you there. i'm having a hard time hearing. i have somebody else's voice in my ear. before i carry on a conversation about gun control, i need to hear what you're saying. maria, i'm going to ask you a first question and ask amy to respond. guys in the control room, you've got to get this voice that's being reported out of my ear. maria, for you, you laid out something to do -- i don't know that i would agree with you that that's meaningful action. what you have described, the assault weapons ban, it wouldn't do anything in this particular case. amy, what you laid out also wouldn't do anything specifically and realistically, right? i mean not saying the shooter's name, i agree 100%. but it's not going to change anything about the next shooting that is going to happen at some
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point. go back to the drawing board and tell me what meaningful action that could stop shootings would be and maybe the answer is there is none. then i'd like to hear that. maria? >> sure. maybe, and you could be right. i think where we can stand to -- where we can start is actually things that make sense. and you're right, in this particular instance, soledad, perhaps the ban on the assault weapon would not have made any difference. but what about the next time? and what if he had had this with him, the carnage would have been much worse than it was. and so we have to be looking at what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again. we can't do anything about what just happened. we have to continue to look at next time. again, i say the -- >> i'm going interrupt you. i'm having a hard time hearing you. while we fix our audio, i'll stop you there. i know this conversation about gun control is going to be one that we are just starting today and is going to continue on.
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maria, amy, i'm sorry for the audio problems, ladies. my apologies. >> thanks. >> thanks. i you'll want to stay with cnn as we continue our coverage of the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school. that coverage will continue right after this short break. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
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good morning, i'm wolf blitzer coming to you live if the newtown, connecticut, the scene a horrific, horrific tragedy. we're here in new england, the town that became the scene of this elementary school massacre. we're watching all of the developments, there are many developments coming in. we'll learn, for example, the names and victims of this attack, 20 children between 5 and 10 died in the shooting spree along with six adults. among them, the school's beloved children and the school's
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psychologist, as well. developments coming in dramatically now. we're live here in newtown. nick valencia is joining us from the sner centcnn center with mo background. we're awaiting word on the official announcement of the victims. it's going to be a very sad moment for our viewers. certainly for people all over the world. set the scene. give us thelift. >> reporter: it's been a somber day in the cnn newsroom as well as across the united states, no doubt. earlier this morning i spoke wi with eone of the teachers who ws at sandy hook elementary school, being called a hero. she was there at the school when the suspected shooter stormed inside the elementary school, wolf. what happened was she was barricaded inside of a
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classroom, protecting a group of children, protecting her children, from this attacker. he was pounding on the door, she said. i spoke to her very briefly this morning. it was a very emotional conversation, as you can imagine. she said it was very difficult to talk to me this morning. but she said that her heart and prayers was with her friends and the family members of those that lost loved ones. wolf? >> stand by. let me update our viewers on the latest on the investigation. we're learning more disturbing details about the shooting and the 26 victims. once again, 20 victims children. police just wrapped up a news conference here in newtown. they say all the victims now have been identified, their bodies have been removed from this little elementary school. grades king county er gadergart fourth grade, taken to the medical examiner's office. they plan to release the names shortly. crime scene investigators are
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working around the clock. >> we still have major crime detectives and newtown detectives working at the scene in the school. that is not completed. that probably will not be completed for at least another day and a half to two days. i'm putting a time limit on it, it could take longer. as i explained at previous press conferences, we've done everything we need to do to literally peel back the onion layer by layer and examine every crack and crevice of that facility. and that does not include or exclude i should say the outside of the building. the outside of the building's also part of the crime scene, every single vehicle in that lot. so it's going to be a long, painstaking process. the secondary crime scene was discovered pursuant to the investigation. once we had a tentative identification of the suspect, we began doing a great deal of work. again, peeling back the onion, everything we could find out
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about the suspect including and not limited to relatives, friends, co-workers, former students, location of residents. and all those areas had to be -- people had to be interviewed and areas had to be examined. hence that caused us to discovery the secondary crime scene, a private residence with a sole female deceased. >> that woman is identified as nancy lanza. she's the mother of the shooter identified as 20-year-old adam lan lanza. police have gathered what they call good evidence on the possible motive for this deadly pam rage. they're not release -- rampage. they're not releasing that yesterday. we expect that ahead. school employees who were inside the school during the shooting are starting to come forward to describe their harrowing ordeal. earlier this morning, the school's librarian described what she did when she realized something terribly wrong was going on.
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>> everybody does what they have to do when they're confronted with a situation like that. and everybody, you know, we practiced it, and they knew what to do. and you just -- you think about protecting the kids and doing the right thing. >> how had you practiced this? >> we have lockdown drills. i don't remember how many, but there's rules. you have to have a certain number of fire drills, evacuation drills, lockdown drills. everyone has a routine, everyone has a spot in the room they're supposed to go to. >> can you describe the spot? >> in the library it's between book cases against a wall where you can't be seen from any window. we had to move out of the spot because one of our doors wasn't locked we discovered. we went to a back storage room. >> how close -- >> we were like this close together. >> how did you keep the children quiet? >> there was crayons and paper in the back. we tore some up and gave them clipboards. >> what did you tell them? >> were you alone?
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>> there were three other adults. they were asking what was going on, we said we don't know, our job is to stay quiet. it may be a drill, it may not. >> what did you know at that point? >> we knew. i called the office, and she told me there was a shooter. >> once again, there are important developments unfolding right now. we're here in newtown, connecticut. we're awaiting word, officials word of the victims, the names of the victims. we want to welcome our viewers not only here in the united states but around the world who are watching. this story certainly has resonated around the world. certainly left with a lot of questions that still need answers this morning. we learning possible, the possible motive of the shooter, the 20-year-old adam lanza. police say they have a good sense of what was going on. they haven't released the information yet. say he killed his mother before the rampage at the school where he then took his own life.
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cnn's mary snow joining us from outside the lanza home in newtown, connecticut. what have we learn good adam lanza, this 20-year-old man? are we learning more about the motive? the police seem to think they have a pretty good idea of what was going on. >> reporter: yeah, they are picking up information, wolf. and you know, shortly after yesterday's horrific shooting, police were on the scene here at the lanza home where it's believed adam lanza lived with his mother. and lieutenant paul vance indicated that they are picking up information piecing together, possibly could lead to the motive. he was asked at the press conference just a short time ago about whether there were any emails or mightinwritings that give information. >> our investigators at the crime scene, the school and secondarily at the secondary crime scene that we discussed where the female was located
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deceased did produce some very -- very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use in hopefully painteding the complete picture as to how and more importantly why this occurred. >> reporter: the secondary crime scene that lieutenant vance was referring to is the home here. you can't see it behind me, it's blocked by police. but the body of the suspect's mother was found in the home yesterday. as for what we're learning about the suspect from neighbors here, many are saying this was a kid who was quiet, who was different in some estimates, he was called troubled. we heard the family was not that social. they didn't really know too much
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about the family. wolf? >> there were two pistols and a rifle that were found, high-caliber rifle, mary. what else do we know about the weapons? >> reporter: cnn has been reporting those two pistols were found, according to a law enforcement official, with the body of the shooter. the rifle was found in a car at the school. susan candiotti earlier reporting that a law enforcement official is saying that he may have had access to as many as five weapons. we've been reporting that three weapons were recovered. and cnn's also been reporting that those guns were locally purchased by the -- were legally purchased by the suspect's mother. >> we don't know how he got access or anything along those lines. i assume the police are investigating all of that.
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it was a bushmaster semiautomatic caliber rifle, and two pistols, a glock and a sig sauer, two piols, as well, all found at the scene. and they're investigating obviously that. anything else going on over there where you are, mary? >> reporter: there isn't, wolf. just the police are still here on the scene. it is a much different scene today than yesterday. as i mentioned, police, swat teams were here yesterday. residents had been evacuated for several hours. they have been allowed back in their home. >> mary snow working the story for us, the tragic story indeed. meanwhile, investigators are working around the clock to try to answer many of the questions that still are out there. we're asking these questions, including the key question why, how could this happen. right now they're taking a close look at the tragedy, how it unfolded, beginning with first word that a shooter was on the scene.
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>> six to seven sandy hook school, caller is indicating she thinks someone is shooting in the building. >> the front glass has been broken -- they're not sure why. all units, the individual that i have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire. units responding to sandy hook at this time. the shooting occurs to the -- to have stopped. the school is in lockdown. >> cnn's anderson cooper takes us through what we know as of now, what happened at the sandy hook elementary school. [ sirens ] >> all units, the individual that i have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunshots. >> reporter: the first word was chilling. it only got worse. >> they are reporting multiple fatalities involved in the shooting at the elementary school. >> reporter: with each new report, the horror deepened. >> reports say the number of dead closer to 30 than 20.
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and sadly, most of them are children. >> reporter: every detail, every fact brought more sadness. each fresh piece of information a part of the picture. a school, kindergarten through fourth grait gradde. a sanctuary that was supposed to be a place of safety torn apart. >> she heard, the intercom came on. she heard a scream and two gunshots. and then the school went into lockdown. >> reporter: a student's teenaged big brother describing the sounds of the gunman on the loose at sandy hook elementary. >> off-duty troopers responded to the school. with newtown police immediately upon arrival entered the school and began a complete active shooter search of the building. >> reporter: they arrived to carnage. the killer, says a law enforcement source with detailed knowledge, was dressed for battle in black fatigues and armed for mass murder with two piftd ols a pistols and military-style rifle. in the school students were told
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to hide in corners. teachers risk eed their lives t pull boys and girls to safety. >> thankful to the teacher who saved them. >> reporter: you think the teacher saved his life? >> she did. he had bullet going by and she grabbed him and another child and pulled them into a classroom. >> reporter: frantic parents descended on the fire house. >> terrified. i'm still terrified, still in shock. i don't know everything that happened. i know people miss were taken to the hospital. >> reporter: his son's okay, his son's teacher was alive, as well. 20 other children and six adults were killed. the dead believed to include sandy hook's school psychologist and the principal. police discovered another adult victim, the gunman's mother. reportedly at home in newtown. the gunman, too, is dead. police say they fired no shots. a tight-knit community including a nurse who lived nearby and rushed to help shocked, distraught. i see you've been crying. >> yes.
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>> reporter: because of what you saw? >> one of the cops said -- the worst thing he had seen in his career. but it was when they told the parents, all these parents were waiting for their children to come out. they thought that they were, you know, still alive. there's 20 parents that were just told their children are dead. it was awful. >> anderson cooper reporting. please be sure to tune in, by the way, to "a.c. 360" special later on the tragic school massacre. live in freetown, connecticut, anderson will have the latest -- newtown, connecticut, anderson will have the latest from the people here. tonight a special "a.c. 360, "8:00 p.m. eastern. for more information on how you can help those affected by the shooting, go to you will have a chance to impact your world. as we say, as we've been reporting, three weapons were found at the school.
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two semiautomatic pistols and a bushmaster assault rifle. all belong to adam lanza's mother, nancy lanza. contributor and former fbi director tom fuentes joins us from washington. deborah feyerick is joining us. tom, first you to. these are high-powered guns the there. you obviously downtown wan't wan the wrong hands. connecticut has strong laws on the books now. how did the young adam lanza, 20-year-old, get these weapons? >> hi, wolf. so far we don't know for sure how he got them. the reports are that his manager legally purchased the weapons and legally had them in the house, it followed all of the laws of connecticut. but if he went ahead and stole them from his mother and then actually used them against her and the other children, then that's where the problem comes in. she may have obtained the guns
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legally, but he didn't. he basically would have stolen the weapons. >> how popular out there are these three kinds of weapons? the two pistols, one rifle? how popular out there are they generally across the country? >> they're popular because the glock and the sig sauer pistols are professional, top-of-the-line quality. they're carried by most law enforcement officers, federal, state, and local throughout the united states because they're top-quality repry. t the bushmaster is a spinoff or non- automatautomatic version os firing that .223 bullet which is very, very lethal. it's a military-gradively with e weap -- grade weapon. the fact that it's not fully automatic doesn't mean it's not very leethd thal. >> deb, go ahead. >> one of the questions, tom,
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you've worked a number of cases like this. why not just kill yourself? why go after people who are the most vulnerable? what does that tell you about the shooter? >> you know, it's hard to say. what was in his mind or on his mind at the time he carried all these actions out, we'll probably never know for sure. i know experts are going to theorize this is what he was thinking, this is why he did it, or he wants his 15 minutes of fame by doing a horrendous act that would obtain worldwide media attention and fame for him. but we don't know for sure. we don't know what triggered him to take this out. and unfortunately, hoos ne's no available to ask and might not have been honest if he did survive. his mother would know him best. and she's not available to ask what was on her son's mind. we don't know, and we may never know. >> and out of curiosity, do you know in these kinds of situations with somebody who is
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intent on doing something, is there a moment where somebody can intercede, where somebody can try to talk them down from what it is they're doing, or once they're in, are they committed to carrying out this kind of horror? >> they may be committed. and this brings up a whole other touchy subject. that is, the mental health system in the united states. parents report repeatedly how helpless they feel in terms of being able to call the police and say, "i think my son's out of control, i think he's going to do a terrible thing." unfortunately, until that tornado doperson does the terrible thing, there's not much we can do so it's prevented. so we have a very inadequate mental health system, and it's going to require a lot of resources and changes in the law to make it more effective and to give parents and family members and law enforcement and doctors the ability to intervene and try to do something before somebody
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goes off the edge like he did, if they know that's coming. in some cases that may not be clear that it's preventable. probably a large number would be preventable in the future if we had that system. the issues that come up in these mass shootings are a combination of an inadequate mental health system and tremendous availability of high-power weapons throughout our society. >> wolf, i'm sure you're seeing it there on the ground in terms of people asking was there a motive. in the end, wolf, i'm sure the answer you're getting is it doesn't matter that there's a motive. you've got 26 people, 27 people who are dead now, wolf. >> yeah, a sad story, indeed. tom, we did learn two important nuggets from the connecticut state police, lieutenant paul vance, who just spoke to reporters here. first thing he pointed out -- i want your reaction. he said our investigations did
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produce good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use to paint a complete picture. so what -- when you hear that from the connecticut state police, what are you -- what do you think? what kind of evidence did they produce at the crime scene? did they find at the crime scene that helps all of us better understand why this could happen? >> there's a possibility that the shooter may have been carrying some type of a note or personal manifesto where he's saying good-bye to the world. and indicating through that why he wants to do this. we don't know that for sure. but certainly that's possible that he may have had something on his person or around his body that -- that is useful for the investigators to try to find out what the motive was or have an indication of motive. that could be -- one of the things he could have said to somebody that hasn't been made public yet. that's another possibility from the crime scene. those things -- again, the paperwork that was with him, the
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wallet that he was carrying, and any comments he may have made prior to taking his own life may be what he's talking about. >> and the other nugget, the other new piece of information that the connecticut state police spokesman said, it was the shooter -- and i'm being specific, it's the shooter forced his way into the school. so maybe the doors were locked. he forced his way, what does that say to you? >> well, that -- people have talked about this great security system they had. and essentially, it's a locked door with a doorbell and camera where somebody in the front office can buzz people in if they recognize them or go to the door and have them produce an i.d. and say why they're at the school, what purpose they've come for. so in this case, we don't know, there were some reports that he shot the door, shot the glass, and allowed himself in. someone might have -- he may have buzzed and someone came to the door, and then he pushed it
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open when they opened to see identification. again, that's something they're still holding closely in terms of the investigation as how exactly he made that entry. >> the picture is beginning to become little bit more complete, but there are still so many unanswered questions. tom fuentes, you'll stay with us. deborah feyerick's going to stay with us. president obama dedicated his entire weekly address this morning to the mass shooting here in connecticut. he called on the nation to rally around the families of those killed and the families of the surviving students, saying their innocence has been torn away far too early. >> this weekend, michelle and i are doing what i know every parent is doing, holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them. there are families in connecticut who can't do that today. and they need all of us right
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now because while nothing can take the place of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need. to remind them that we're there for them, that we're praying for them, and that the love they. for those they lost endures not just in their own memories but also in their communities and in their country. >> many of us, all of us, i think people in the united states, indeed around the world, trying to make sense out of this tragedy. the questions continue. how do you turn around and explain what has happened to your young children? we're going to have expert advice on that, our special coverage from here in connecticut continues right after this. [ male announcer ] this december, remember -- what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ♪
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changed the lives of some elementary school children forever. as the kids from sandy hook
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school rushed into the arms of frantic parents after cowering in closets, hiding under desks, many recall the chaos and the fear that they witnessed just a few minutes ago. our brian todd has details. >> reporter: the account of a young boy said to be delivering an attendance report to the office at sandy hook elementary school when the shootings took place is surreal. >> i saw some of the bullets going past the hall that i was right next to, and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom. >> reporter: he said he heard someone kicking a door. his mother clinging to him had words of thanks. >> i'm so grateful to the teacher who saved him. >> reporter: thank you, you think the teacher saved his life? >> she definitely did. he it bullets going by him. she grabbed him and another child and pulled them into a classroom. >> reporter: brendan murray, a fourth grader, described the chaos. >> i was in the gym at the time. so the teachers -- we heard lots
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of bangs. and we thought that it was the custodian knocking stuff down, we heard screaming. and so we went to the wall, and we sat down. then the police came in, like, is he in here, then he ran out. then our teacher, somebody yelled, "get to a safe place." we went to a closet in the gym and sat there for a little while. then the police were knocking on the door, and they're like, "we're evacuating people. we're evacuating people." >> reporter: cnn is only airing sound of children whose parents gave permission. as one woman walked away from the school she was heard cry, "why, why?" a policeman was heard saying, it was the worst thing he'd seen in his career. a nurse from nearby danbury hospital described the scene as parents waited for word about their children.
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>> all these parents were waiting for their children to come out. they they thought that they were still alive. there were 20 parents who were just told their children were dead. it was awful. >> reporter: the father of a young girl who survived was just trying to process it all. >> it was shocking. i got the call at work this morning. i can't believe a small town like this would ever have anything like this happen. and to be in an elementary school, that's unheard of. >> reporter: by late friday afternoon and into the evening, evacuated children were being cared for and reuniting with their parents at a nearby fire house. brian todd, cnn, washington. susan candiotti has joined me in connecticut, newtown. susan, you've been investigating what happened, you're getting new information. update our viewers. >> all right. first thing that is new, we want
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to talk about, are the three guns that we've already been identifying. the glock, the sig sauer, and the bushmaster, that up until now we have reported that that semiautomatic bushmaster was found in the mother's car belonged -- that the shooter was using parked outside the school. new information is that all three of those guns were inside, next to the shooter in the classroom. it is unclear whether there was another weapon found at the crime scene somewhere else. >> in addition to those three? >> that's correct. however, we do have this new information. authorities are tracing three more guns that the shooter may have had access to. we're doing a full trace on all of these guns. the three additional guns are described by law enforcement sources as single-action rifles
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of various calibers. so they are conducting, we have the makes and models. they are conducting a full trace to see whether they belong to the mother, where they belong to the father, whether they might have belonged to both. but authorities including bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, is currently doing a trace on these weapons. they're also looking at various sporting goods stores, gun ranges, this kind of thing, to find out whether the shooter in this case visited any of those places. in fact, another source tells me that they have information that the shooter may have tried to purchase a weapon but was unsuccessful on tuesday of this year. tried to buy a gun but was unable to do so. >> because of a background check or whatever? >> i am told he didn't have a proper permit. and remember, he was 20 years old. now that might mean that he had
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a fake i.d. at the time, but i'm told that he didn't have the proper permit in addition to what other specifications he didn't have or requirements, and he didn't want to wait. >> as you know, there are reports he did have his older brother's i.d. on his body, 24-year-old ryan lanza. that was -- apparently the result, causing that you will confusion who shooter service originally. he did have some i.d. on his body that suggested he was ryan as opposed to adam lanza. >> there are reports about that, and certainly if that is the case, that might be an explanation for him going into a gun store and trying to make a purchase. >> do we know if the three weapons that they were discovered inside the school, the bushmaster, glock, the sig sauer, were they all fired? were they all used? >> i've been unable to confirm that, but i did ask this -- which one of those he used to commit suicide. and i was told they do know but
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they will not reveal that at this time. >> was there a lot of ammunition that was still usable on the scene or did he go through all the bullets? >> i've been asking that question and i don't have an answer to that. as you know, they're currently still working that crime scene, trying to figure out how many bullet were fired, if there was additional ammo. those are important questions and certainly one that investigators either know and aren't revealing or are still looking into. >> i think they know a lot more than they're revealing now. to their credit, they want to be precise. they don't want to give information that they have to later walk back and -- i admire them for doing that. >> trying to be very careful. >> this is obviously a tragedy that has so resonated not only in connecticut but all over the country, indeed all over the world right now. they want to be -- to be precise. we'll get more information. are connecticut state police taking the lead? >> they are, but they've
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acknowledged they're getting a lot of cooperation from the fbi, from the atf, and any other agencies they're asking. they're getting it, and it's helping advance what they're doing. >> susan candiotti, wokking her sourc -- working her sources, getting information. to repeat the headline, all three weapons were found inside because originally we thought the rifle was still in the vehicle that this individual drove to the school. >> that's correct. and that he may have had access to three additional guns. >> there may have been -- we don't know how he got them, but we know the three that were found were registered in his mother's name. >> that is correct. she owned them. >> susan, thanks very, very much. this tragedy is difficult for all of us to grasp. for children, it is so, so confusing, so sad, it is obviously down right scary. how do you explain to your kids what happened when they ask? cnn's lisa sylvester brings us some expert advice.
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>> reporter: if there's an emergency that sums up this story it is -- any parent can relate. psychologist charles raisin is with the university of arizona's college of medicine. >> how do you wrap your mind around something like this? with a good deal of heartbreak and with the understanding that it's going to take a while, and that there will be people that were closely impacted by this who will never wrap their minds around this. you know, the human minds are not infinite. this is now appearing to be probably the worcestst school y catastrophe in history. there's going to be a huge long-term fallout that will impact people's emotional well-being. we need to gear ourselves up for that fallout because it's coming. this is a horrible thing. >> reporter: the news out of newtown is traumatic for parents and for children. this happened at a school where kids are supposed to feel safe. >> how do you explain this to dinner? again, it depends on the age -- to children? again, it depends on the age of
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the child. i think effortright forthright . what i tell children is somewhat that there are bad people in the world and sometimes bad people do terrible things. a terrible thing has happened, and there have been children killed. this is terrible, but you're safe. and, you know, you're safe and you're in a situation now where you're not going to be harmed. >> reporter: the american academy of pediatrics offers this advice -- take into account the age of the child and provide basic information without offering details that may only alarm them. ask your children what they already know and answer questions. parents can share their own feelings and the ways they're coping. and find meaningful ways to help others. >> children are resilient, and what really matters now is how we help them understand what's happened but even i think more important, the sense of protection and safety that we give them starting this moment and for the next weeks and months. >> reporter: for those who
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witness ed witnessed, those children who covered their eyes and ears to shut out the horror, they need time, love, and prayers. president obama said it, that parents are going to go home, hug their children. even to process this as a nation, that's just going to take time. >> lisa sylvester reporting for us. what a powerful, powerful story with some important advice for all of us. we're going to have much more on what's going on in this investigation, the investigation continuing in newtown, connecticut. let's check back with deborah feyerick for a look at some of the other top stories this hour. deb? >> a quick look. checking some of the other news this hour, two people are dead in an apparent murder/suicide at the excalibur hotel and casino in las vegas. the female victim is being described as a vendor working at the concierge desk. the male shooter is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. in egypt, president mohamed morsi cast his ballot today for a new draft constitution.
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voters there are deciding whether the controversial document goes into effect. the days leading up to today's vote have been marred by many protests and lots of violence. in the u.k. a mass was held for the nurse who apparently hanged herself following a prank call. her husband and children spoke publicly about their loss for the first time since her death. jacintha saldana took the hoax gradual two australian d.j.s regarding prince william's pregnant wife catherine. the nurse's funeral will be held on sunday in southern india. back to you. >> thank you very much. let's get to the latest developments now on this mass shooting here in connecticut. the sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. here's what we know as of right now -- the bodies of all 26 victims, 20 of them children, six adults, have now been taken out of the small elementary school, transported to the medical examiner's office. investigators will remain at the
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school, though, for the next day or two, at the least gathering more evidence. the shooter identified as 20-year-old adam lanza forced his way into the school. but they're not revealing exactly how he got in. police also say they found what they describe as -- i'm quoting now -- good evidence about how and why lanza carried out this deadly rampage. they say they discovered that information at the skooshlchool seco secondiaary location, the lanza home where the mother was found shot to death. connecticut state police say all of the victims have been removed from this elementary school even though we know -- we don't know what happened inside, investigators are painstakingly re-creating the crime scene from
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beginning to end to make sure we know what's going on. hln's law enforcement analyst mike brooks is joining us, deborah feyerick still with us. mike, these people are professionals, investigators, they have to do this extremely difficult work to re-create in effect every one of those minutes if not seconds of what unfolded. walk us through what they are doing now and why they're doing it. >> you heard from lieutenant vance of the connecticut state police that they will be there at the school at least for another day and a half, two days. even more if they need that time. we know that the bodies have been removed. they are undergoing autopsy at the medical examiner's office. that evidence will be analyzed by a crime lab. but back at the school, you still have crime team -- crime scene technicians. you said they have three major case squads that are going over that school with a fine tooth comb, both inside and outside. wolf, we don't know exactly how
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many rounds were fired in that school. we're hearing witness accounts of maybe 100 or more. and now that makes sense with the new information susan candiotti has that that .223 bu bushmaster was inside with the magazines with 30 rounds each. so all those rounds, they will try to account for every one of those rounds, wolf. and they will try to re-create through still pictures and vi o video, fingerprint, dna, what happened. we know the school upgraded their security system and had a surveillance camera at the front door. the other question is, were there surveillance cameras throughout the school? if there was, that will also help them re-create what happened, re-create the time line from when he drove up,
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forced his way into the school, to the time he went through the school just wreaking havoc with those three weapons. >> police say they now say they know for a fact he did force his way into that school. he was determined to get inside that small elementary school and start killing people. the question is why would anyone want to do that. we don't have any answers, although the police say, mike, they have a pretty good idea of why he did this. when they say that, what does that say to you? >> that says that they have gleaned some information from either there at the school, his car, the secondary crime scene where his mother was found dead, or possibly also the interviews that they've done with all of his friends, his associates. we know that in hoboken, new jersey, his brother ryan was taken into custody for a while yesterday and questioned. and possibly a computer taken
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from his apartment. and his father, i'm sure he was able to give a pretty good background, wolf. and the secondary crime scene at the house, there could have been. they went over that house, i guarantee you, with a fine tooth comb, taking any computers, any laptops, you name it, to try to get information on the how and the why all this happened. and i think that we're probably going to hear over the next week exactly what happened because i'm sure that they have good information. >> deb, like me, all of us, we've covered way too many of those horrific, horrific tragedies. and unfortunately after each one we hope that it's the last but we know there will be more tragedies down the road. i know you want to ask mike a question. >> and there's so many questions that have to be answered people say, well, what was the motive? will there be a motive. and to a lot of the families, it's probably like, well, it doesn't matter whether there's a
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motive. my child is dead. the bodies are now with the medical examiner. how long, mike, does the process take before the bodies are turned over to the families, and when you do friends activities a child, a victim, an -- forensics on a child, a victim, an adult, is there a timeline? >> you have to determine the cause of death. the manner is most likely homicide in this case. by law they have to fill out a death certificate. it's not a pleasant thing to talk about, but they have to fill out a death certificate for each of the children and adult killed at the scene as well as the shooter. and so they're going to go through an autopsy like they would forrin els ianyone else. they have asked for help from a medical examiner within the state or outside the state to
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assist because of the sheer number of bodies. when you have 27, you know, 26, 27 bodies, it takes a long time to do that. to do a thorough job. but as t's something th-- but i they have to do, not a pleasant task but something they have to do. >> sure, but even as many guns as there are, you get the sense that if somebody wants to do something like this, sadly and tragically they're going to. wolf? >> yeah. if they're determined to start killing little children in an elementary school, how do you prevent that? and that's a question that's going to be asked. mike, we'll continue this conversation, stand by for that. meanwhile a country and president grieving for victims of this horrific, horrific tragedy. we'll continue our special coverage right after this.
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shock and sadness across the nation, indeed so much of the world following a mass shooting at an elementary school here in newtown, connecticut, a few hours after the rampage.
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president obama delivered a statement, a powerful statement on this horrific tragedy. he got very emotional, sometimes -- typically doesn't get that emotional at least in public, but he actually started to tear up as he spoke about these young victims. want to play in its entirety the statement that the president made. >> this afternoon i spoke with governor malloy and fbi director mueller. i offered governor malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have condolences and will give him every resource he needs to investigate this crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. we've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years and each time i learn the news i react not as a president but as
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anybody else would, as a parent. and that was especially true today. i know there is not a parent in america who does not feel the overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
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so our hearts are broken today. for the parent and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost. our hearts are broken for the parent of the survivors as well. for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain. as a country, we have been through this too many times, whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful
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action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. this evening, michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do, which is hug our children tighter and remind each other how deeply we love one another but there are fa families in connecticut who cannot do that and they need us right now to come together as americans and i will do everything in my power as president to help because while nothing can fill the space of the lot of child s lost child o all of us can remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
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may god bless the memories of the victims and in the words of scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. >> not often you see a president of the united states wiping away tears, holding back those tears, speaking so emotionally, so personally, not only as the president but also as a father. in that initial statement he didn't directly address the very sensitive issue of gun control in the united states. but the white house press secretary jay carney did tell reporters the president supports reinstating a federal ban on the assault on assault weapons. that was from the white house press secretary, jay carney. the harrowing words from the students who witnessed something that no child should ever have to see are such a powerful reminder of the enormity of this
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tragedy. to give us a better idea of what happened, cnn josh levs is going to give us a 3-d look at the school. >> i'm going to take you through some new information that we got this morning. this is a 3-d image of the school. we learned this morning that police are saying that the entire thing is and remains a crime scene. they say they are searching each and every room and in the words of the police, each he every week in the parking lot. we do not know if there are specific things they are looking for but we do know that they are searching absolutely everything, scouring the area. police put out a statement this morning saying that the first 911 call about this came in at about 9:30 a.m. i want our viewers in this country and around the world to understand that every seconds count, even fractions of a minute. if the call came in around 9:30 a.m., that puts the time frame
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back from ten minutes from what we believed last night and that can introduce new questions. when school was beginning, was the gunman already there? was he hiding in places? was there something that someone could have seen might have ultimately made a difference? let me talk you through a little bit about what we've been hearing about this actual attack. we do know now that this gunman forced his way into the building. there's a security system at this building. we don't know exactly how he did but one of the chief questions that school around the country, people will be asking, how does someone force themselves into the school with a weapon? we heard something that can turn out to be very significant. it's believed that this area right here is where the shootings took place and that the weapons were found right near him. but we have to find out exactly what happened step by step inside this school and what potential evidence that might otherwise -- or ultimately end up finding at any part inside
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that school, wolf. i also want to mention, there were windows broken around the school and that leads people to believe that maybe this gunman broke one of the windows to get in. police said, don't jump to that c conclusion. when authorities arrived to respond, they had to force their way in. that involved breaking windows. so, again, new questions about all that. and, folks, while i do this, i want to remind you all, i'm putting my hands all over this as if it's a crime scene but we're talking about a children's elementary school, something that should never, ever be a crime scene. wolf, i'm a father, you are a father and people all around the world are sharing this horror right there with us. >> such a powerful, powerful reminder of the fragile nature of our society and you go to -- you take your kids to ask school in the morning and you never, ever, ever should have to expect anything like this. >> that's what we're all
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grappling with. >> josh, thank you very much for that report. >> sure. we're going to take a quick break. our special coverage will resume right after this. over fifty dollars less than best buy! wow! fifty bucks! yeah! that's a pair of shoes. see for yourself if you could save on the gifts you want. walmart. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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